My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Memories and Loss

by Joyce...Halloween...so many memories of my kiddos over the years. The costumes. The parades at school. Carving pumpkins. My father driving to Cleveland to take his grandkids out trick or treating. The music I always play as the neighborhood kids come to the front door. The dumping of candy on the family room floor at the end of the night, everyone grabbing for their favorites. Such fun and wonderful memories.

Yet today, I have been in a rather melancholy mood. I can't stop thinking of our dear blogging friends who are waiting out the day. Simply trying to put one foot in front of the other. Doing whatever they can to pass the time and attempt to ease the pain. Memories are all they have now of their precious girls...

Sweet Carly last Halloween.

Precious Kristen in 1989.

What it must be for a mom to live with the terrible loss of a child. Then add the extra care they had given to their girls with Down syndrome. I can only imagine how their hearts are broken. Each holiday a painful reminder that 2009 was the last, yet at the time they did not know it.

It has been so enjoyable to read all the posts for the 31 for 21 campaign. As we bring that effort to a close this year, please let's say an extra prayer for Joany, Polly and Karol (mom to Laynee). Please visit their blogs and let them know you are thinking of them. And in loving memory of their girls, give your loved ones an extra hug tonight.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting ready for Sew Spooktacular

Today was the day...

to pack all the little treat bags we made.

I am putting in one ghost and one pumpkin from Cheryl's cookies.

I have to be very careful so the cookies do not break.

Oh orange and black. I like this one.

All done. We have a total of thirty six. If we sell all 36 tomorrow that will be $360 that we will be able to send to Reece's Rainbow and Camp Cheerful. Those are the two organizations we have selected to help raise money for in the store. We will be doing this once a month. Each month we will have a different theme. If you are in the area, you will have to come visit us on Saturday, October 30th from 11:00 - 5:00 for Sew Spooktacular. We have lots of fun things and 50% off all Halloween Fabrics. JEllen's house of fabric is located at 5259 Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No Rulz Art, LLC

Meet my friend Tim.

He and his mom along with a few other friends started a company a few years ago when Tim aged out of his school system. It is called No Rulz Art, LLC. They make really cool tie dyed things like...

socks, and headbands. They have been going to craft shows for the past few years. They also have some displays in art stores in the area. We are going to sell their creations in our store too because people have been asking for them.

Look how cute their tags are. This one is for headbands.

This one is for socks. Here is what their information card reads:
The No Rulz Art Cooperative was established in 2007 to bring adults with and without disabilities together to explore different art mediums in a social atmosphere. Understanding Socks grew out of a tie dying project and has taken off as a result of the quality of work and cooperative efforts between people building on each others' strengths. All phases of the tie dying production are shared among the No Rulz members. Understanding from head to toe reflects our hope for a greater understanding of the abilities of ALL people.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Very Big Disappointment

I was so excited to see a package on the porch when I came home today.

It had my name on it. It was from Las Vegas. Cool.

I was so excited to open it. No one knew what it was.

And then I opened it. Big disappointment. Very big disappointment.

It is my medicine. More Albuterol for the machine. Plus an extra inhaler for my music bag when I'm with Bonnie. One for the store. And one for my mom's purse. I already have one in my purse. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow something exciting will come.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Next Day

Just when I got into a peaceful sleep this morning my mom comes in with the camera. Are you kidding me?

She said she had to take a picture because I took my shirt off. That's right. I was soooooo sweaty. She said that is a good thing because my fever was breaking. A good sign that we will likely avoid the emergency room. So she went to the store and I stayed home by myself. Until there was about to be a tornado, then my dad came home to stay with me just in case we had to head into the basement.

Later in the afternoon my mom came home because we had an important interview on the phone. I told her to put it on speaker so I could talk. I think I did a good job.
.
Now about that chocolate...

...no it was not all for my mom, although she did eat some on the way home. It is for our Halloween treat bags. You might remember them from last year.

Well I have a lot to do tonight so I better get busy. See ya later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another 10 Years Off my Life

by Joyce...Darn you mother nature. Another cruel twist of barometric pressure and outside temperatures going from 60 to 30 to 75, has us at crisis point again.

Sarah was having a great day. She went to work, came home, made herself a snack, got ready for music therapy and rocked out with Bonnie. But when she got in the car after music therapy she doubled herself in half at the waist. My first subtle clue. Bonnie and I said goodbye and off we went. It was going to be girls night out. First dinner, then Target, then a visit to a new venue, a Temple in Kirtland. Soon after calling the order into the speaker, Sarah said she didn't want to eat. Uh oh, clue number two. So I started to head for home which is a good 30 minutes away.

Shortly after getting on the freeway, I look over my shoulder and I know we are in trouble. "Sarah, Sarah, Sarah," I repeat. Each time getting louder. No response. I tilt my review mirror so I can half she her and half the road. I start to see her eyes roll. Damn it. Why does this have to happen on the highway when traffic is moving 70 mph. My adrenaline is pumping. My mind goes into what I call lock down. It automatically and very quickly runs through the scenarios.

Pull over in case I need to perform rescue breathing. But doing so puts both our lives in jeopardy. So many people are getting killed on the side of the road by erratic drivers. Not a good option.

Get off at the next exit where there is a hospital a bit down the street. But it's not on our insurance plan so we will have to go through the horrendous transfer process once they get her stable. Not a good option. So I keep driving.

"Sarah," I scream. "Talk to me Sarah." "Saaaarrrraaahhhhhh" I turn to look at her. Her eyes are gray, she is listless. Trucks are flying by me. On both sides. There is no where to pull off, so I press on. My little car is shaking. I am shaking.

I get closer to the van in front of me. It is from an oxygen supply company. Great. I think about honking my horn to get his attention. He has oxygen, that's what we need. But just up ahead is where four lanes of I-90 traffic come into three. One of the places where accidents frequently happen. Overturned trucks even. Not a good place to make a scene. So I keep driving. FAST. Faster than the speed limit. My heart is pounding. My palms are sweaty. Sarah is not responding to any command.

I get off at the first exit and pull into the first drive...

This is what she looks like. Never before have I had a camera to take a picture in this situation. I jump out of the car. Go over to open her door. I cup her face in my hands, "Sarah," noticing her eyes are so gray as she looks up at me. "Honey are you ok?" "Mommy, I don't feel so good," she barely whispers.

I grab the abuterol inhaler out of the glove box. I go to shake it, realizing that I am already shaking enough that I don't need to put much effort into it. Two puffs in. She takes a deep breath. She grabs for my hand. We sit for a moment. Should I call 911. I count her respirations. I slowing breath some shallow breaths toward her face to share my oxygen. Her color starts to look a little better. We sit for another few moments. I give her one more puff of Albuterol. Her breathing becomes a bit more stable. Her eyes are now responding to my finger. I think we can make it home where we have more medications to give her...

and

then

I

do

what

any

self respecting

mother

who

has

just

lost

ten

more

years

off

her

life

would

do...

... I walked into the store in front of us and bought two pounds of milk chocolate.
It is now three plus hours after our ordeal. Sarah is resting in bed. Her breathing is somewhat labored. She has a slight fever. I will be up checking every hour or so. After twenty one years, we seem to know just how far to push it before hitting the emergency room. But even after all these years, it still sends me into a tizzy when these episodes occur.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Movie Night!!!

I love when I get the TV for movie night.

My dad is joining in. Do you want to watch the movie mom?

What are you watching Sarah? Haaa... one of my old favorites that is new on DVD...

Friday, October 22, 2010

California Dreamin'

I was so happy to be adding another red dot on my map.

This time in California. It was the first red dot for that state.

This one arrived in a big envelope.

Oh I LOVE it!!!

And there is Miss Zoey. She is so cute. I just love her.

You know, when I look at this picture I think Zoey could be my little sister.

What do you think? She has such a cute smile and pretty hair.

Look at this...it says...To accomplish great things Dream...We must dream as well as Act. My mom really loves it. We are going to hang it on the wall in our store. Thank you Miss Zoey and family. It was such a nice thing you did.

One more thing...look Zoey. You are right here on the board with all our other blogging friends.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fabric + Fun + Friendship = Happiness

Do you remember when we were voting on my sign?

We had a few versions that took out the tag line. We felt it was important to leave it in. It helps tell our purpose. I think we forgot something though. It all equals happiness.

I have a great story to share with you. My mom has been helping me write it. Unless you are new to our blog, you will probably remember the pillowcases I made for my friend Kristen. I learned to sew and she loved them. They made her happy. And that made me happy. A few months later, my mom had to tell me that Kristen was really sick, even sicker than she had been when I made the pillowcases. And then she died. That made me very sad. Her family was very sad too.

Just a short while later, Kristen's mom wrote a post about a terrible flood in Utah. Their house was under water. It ruined much of their stuff including all of Mrs. Kirton's fabric and her sewing machine. Lot's of people came to help them. That was nice. One day, another post appeared about how Mrs. Kirton wanted to do a project to make bags for the kids in the hospital in memory of Kristen. That is the day we had an idea.

So on September 11, 2010 my mom taught me how to cut fabric in our store. First we practiced on scraps and then we got to work. I picked a bunch of different fabrics and then measured them into one yard cuts.

After I got them all folded I put them into a pile. Do you see some more behind my shoulder?

That afternoon Sister Webb and Sister Park came into the store. They are on their mission trip in Ohio from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Sister Park is from Utah. I told them all about Kristen and her wonderful family. We told them about her brave brother and how he donated his bone marrow to try to help Kristen get better and we told them about her two sisters moving up their weddings so Kristen could be there. We all agreed they are an amazing family.
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A few weeks went by. The fabric was still sitting in the store. One day my brother TJ, asked my mom why she had not sent the fabric yet. She said she didn't know for sure but something was just holding her back. She said she would get to it soon.
.
Then on Thursday, October 7th, the missionaries came back.
We showed them our new display in the store for Down syndrome awareness month. We showed them all the cards from our readers. Then my mom got to one of the letters. It was from a member of Kristen's family. As my mom was reading the letter she said it was time. Time to send the fabric. That night after the store closed she took the box to the post office.

Mrs. Kirton sent us a message that she received the fabric. It was sitting in her house. My mom was wondering how she was going to sew it into bags. We were starting to think of ways we might get a sewing machine out there.
.
Then today she posted this...

She has all the halloween bags done and ready to go to the hospital for the children. How did she get them all done? Well...her neighbor Gloria gave her a sewing machine...the same week the fabric arrived. My mom has been smiling about that all night. She also has had a few tears. At dinner we talked about the arrival of the machine and the fabric the same week. Was that By Chance or By Design? I wonder. I know one thing, Kristen's light is shinning bright. And that makes us all so happy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hey Kristen, It's Me Sarah

Guess what? We are going to be famous again. This time in a magazine. They are going to call me to talk about the pillowcases. I am going to tell them I miss you. Our moms want the world to know your light will always be shinning bright.

Tonight I am working on a very special project. I will show you tomorrow. Bye for now. Sarah

A Keeping It Real Update...

by Joyce...Sarah called me on her cell phone while I was at the gas station. "Mom, I am better now. Please take the post down. I will forget about Mr. K."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Sweetest Day

Smile:) What a great reason to have my favorite chocolate chip cookie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Greater Love

Twenty Years Ago Today...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fabric for a Friend

A few weeks back, I showed you some pictures when I learned to cut fabric with a rotary cutter. I told you how careful I had to be because it is sharp. I also had to be careful for another reason.

I was cutting this fabric for a very important reason.

I was going to be sending it to a friend. A few friends really. And I knew they were going to be doing something very special with it.

So I folded it all into a neat pile and then...

I took it over to the table to pack it up for mailing...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Rest for the Weary

I was not feeling much better today. TJ had to bring me home in the middle of the day to give me a breathing treatment. He takes really good care of me.

One thing that I had to do though was sort my laundry. My dirty clothes basket was overflowing.

Hello down there. Hey it echos when I put my head in the basket.

Well that's about it. I am going back to bed now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Hate Smoking

I knew it. I just knew it. When we went out to our car on Saturday there were people smoking right next to us. I try to cover my mouth with my sleeve, but it doesn't help. That smoke goes straight to my lungs and then I can't breath.

Today, I could not go to work. I can't breath and my lungs are contaminated which gives me a fever. My mom has been giving me treatments all day long so hopefully I will be able to stay out of the hospital. I wish people did not smoke.